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English-language titles feature highly in France’s top 50 books

The shortlist spans several languages, genres and eras, and includes 1984, Harry Potter, Jane Eyre and L’Etranger. You can still vote for your all-time favourite

A woman sits and reads a book in a typically-French cafe

The final shortlist of the top 50 most popular books in France is a wide selection from across genres and periods Pic: Ekaterina Pokrovsky / Shutterstock

Many books originally published in English – including Pride and Prejudice, 1984, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and The Lord of the Rings – have made it to a shortlist of France’s favourite 50 books.

The vast study by France Télévisions and BBC Studios launched in April, asking people in France to vote for their favourite book, without offering any kind of list or pre-approved selection.

In a statement, the group said: “This is a chance to show off the great richness of the diversity of our literary heritage.”

Read more: What's your favourite book? New French study asks for nominations 

Tens of thousands of people of all ages took part, with choices ranging from the classics to great works of modern fiction, to graphic novels, to young adult favourites.

Katia Martin, manager of books, reading, French language and literary prizes at France Télévisions, said: “We were not expecting such success or so many responses, with such varied choices.”

The final shortlist of the top 50 most popular is a wide selection from across genres and periods. 

Many of the chosen were originally published in English, and are considered classics or modern favourites. 

These include:

  • 1984, by George Orwell

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, by JK. Rowling

  • The Lord of the Rings, by JRR. Tolkien

  • Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë

  • Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë

  • Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

  • The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follet

  • The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

  • Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens

Of course, many French-language classics also made the list, including:

  • Au bonheur des dames, by Emile Zola

  • L’Etranger, by Albert Camus

  • Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmond Rostand

  • Le Petit Prince, by Antoine de St Exupery

  • Les liaisons dangereuses, by Choderlos de Laclos

  • Les Misérables, by Victor Hugo

Other original publication languages on the list include: 

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Spanish)

  • Perfume, by Patrick Suskind (German)

  • Naruto, by Masashi Kishimoto (Japanese)

  • Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, by Hirohiko Araki (Japanese)

People are now invited to choose their favourite book from the shortlist, with the ultimate winner set to be announced in the autumn. 

Final voting is open until September 4, and can be done online via this page on the France Télévisions website.

France’s favourite 50 books: The full shortlist

  • 1984, by George Orwell

  • A la recherche du temps perdu, by Marcel Proust

  • Royal Assassin, by Robin Hobb

  • Au bonheur des dames, by Emile Zola

  • Au revoir là haut, by Pierre Lemaitre

  • Avant que le monde ne se ferme, by Alain Mascaro 

  • Belle du seigneur by Albert Cohen

  • Berserk, by Kentaro Miura

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  • Changer l'eau des fleurs, by Valérie Perrin

  • Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmond Rostand

  • Dragon Ball, by Akira Toriyama

  • Dune, by Frank Herbert

  • Ensemble c'est tout, by Anna Gavalda

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, by JK. Rowling

  • The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

  • Il est grand temps de rallumer les étoiles, by Virginie Grimaldi

  • Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë

  • Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, by Hirohiko Araki

  • Kilomètre Zéro, by Maud Ankaoua

  • Attack on Titan, by Hajimé Isayama

  • L'écume des jours, by Boris Vian

  • L’Etranger, by Albert Camus

  • The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

  • La Horde du contrevent, by Alain Damasio

  • La nuit des temps, by René Barjavel

  • Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens

  • La Passe Miroir, by Christelle Dabos

  • La passeuse de mots, by A-J. Twice

  • La promesse de l'aube, by Romain Gary

  • The Braid, by Laetitia Colombani

  • The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, by Joël Dicker

  • The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas

  • Perfume, by Patrick Suskind

  • Le Petit Prince, by Antoine de St Exupery

  • The Lord of the Rings, by JRR. Tolkien

  • Les gens heureux lisent et boivent du café, by Agnès Lugand

  • Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë

  • Les liaisons dangereuses, by Choderlos de Laclos

  • Les Misérables, by Victor Hugo

  • The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follet

  • Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert

  • Naruto, by Masashi Kishimoto

  • Nymphéas noirs, by Michel Bussi

  • One Piece, by Eiichiro Oda

  • Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians, by Rick Riordan

  • Scorpi, by Roxane Dambre

  • Tout le bleu du ciel, by Mélissa Da Costa

  • Voyage au bout de la nuit, by Louis-Ferdinand Céline

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What's your favourite book? New French study asks for nominations  

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